The torchlights lining Hogwarts' stone hallways flicker, causing Nautica to shiver. Normally, she loves the feeling of Hogwarts with it's moving staircases and paintings, but at night, when she's doing her rounds; it can have an unsettling atmosphere. Pulling her thin cardigan tighter around her small shoulders, she continues her Prefect rounds. Even though she had to give up her Captain position, she refused giving up being a Prefect. Her entire Hogwarts career, she had had it carefully planned; mapped out. But that had all been moot the second she found out about her cancer. Except, for her, it was hard to let go of it. Was it ironic that she wanted to be a healer and became sick?


"Ow James- what the fuck?" The yell echoes, causing Nautica to groan in frustration. At least once a week, maybe even twice, she almost always finds three seventh year boys out of their common room. And they're are ALWAYS doing something they're not suppose to. Clenching her fists tightly, she hurries down the hall, hearing their voices from somewhere close.


"This is bloody genius," A voice says with a happy tone. That was never good.


"I still don't see why it was necessary for me to steal Dom's lipstick-"






Rolling her eyes and taking a deep breath, she rounds one last corner to find the culprits standing with their backs to her in front of a life-sized statue of McGonagall. She could on some level, appreciate the creativity of it. They had her pursed lips correct and the severe bun on the back of her head fit the same color. Honestly, if it wasn't for that the fact that this was definitely something they shouldn't be doing, Nautica would laugh. But, unfortunately, she can't.






All three boys seem to freeze in place, dread practically radiating from them. Since the very first day of their first year, they've heard their last names being yelled more times than they could count. It had become a bit of a game to them, until Pheonix had joined the ranks of Prefects. She was always particularly hard on them, whereas others let it slide.



"You didn't check the map, did you?" James mutters accusingly toward his cousin, Fred. The other boy grimaces, knowing that their plans have become completely fucked. "Pheonix, darling..." James turns, casting Nautica a bright smile, complete with pearly white and cupid bow lips. The sight of him has always irked her. Maybe, it's because he's too good-looking. With almond-shaped hazel eyes (with thick eyeslashes, how unfair), inky black hair that never seems to lie flat, a square jaw, and athlete's physique; he is the epitome of male beauty. Maybe, she can't help but to dislike him because he knows he's gorgeous.



She's seen him play the Professor's with his flashing smile and his witty personality, but she had never been so entranced. In fact, it has always been the largest thorn in her side. "Don't pull that with me, Potter," She says stiffly, narrowing her eyes at him.



"I'm not trying to do anything," He says almost sheepishly, his smile bringing forth a dimple in his right cheek that she had never taken time to notice before. "I was just going to say, you've never looked more beautiful-"



"Let me stop you right there," She says fiercely, putting her hand up. "You are all going to get detention for this-"






"Shut up," She says, resisting the urge to pull her own damn hair out. Sometimes, its easy to forget that all three boys are ridiculously obnoxious. Though, Freddie Weasley, he's a tad more bearable. He has a laugh and smile that is highly infectious and he resembles a long lost puppy. "Seriously, if you were gonna make some sort of ridiculous statue thing, why McGonagall? You know she'll have your heads for this."



"Oh dear Minnie wouldn't want to punish us too bad," Jeremiah Finnegan says with a grin. "We're her favorites."



"Come on, Pheonix," James says, a twinkle in his eye as he steps forward slyly. "We're just having a bit of fun: you can understand that, yeah?"



"Ten points from each of you for Gryffindor house," She says sharply, ignoring their groans. "And Professor McGonagall will be notified immediately. She can set your detentions." All three boys scowling now, glance at each other.



"Sorry Pheonix."



Before she can utter a word, a sudden mist seems to overcome the room. Then a loud BANG! echoes throughout as she flies into the outer wall. Groaning from the impact, she stares into the now empty room. Even the statue of McGonagall is gone. "POTTER!"






The spectacle in the Great Hall the following morning was a sight to behold. Nautica freezes in the very middle of the entrance doors, her mouth falling open. Beside her, Santiago is laughing hysterically. Because, standing proudly in front of all four tables is the statue she had seen the trio with last night.



But they had made some adjustments. McGonagall's lips are now covered in bright pink lipstick and atop her head is a crown of red and bronze. And protruding from her backside are Weasley's Wizard Wheezes fireworks. They make loud POPs as they explode from the statue, swirling around the Great Hall in different colors. Nautica closes her eyes, counting to three as she recalls the two hours she had spent trying to get to the Headmistress' office. But everytime, she thought she was close, she ended up being down a different hallway. Whatever charms James had placed on the castle had been impressive yet infuriating.



And perched happily upon the Gryffindor table are the three boys with their arms wrapped around each other's shoulders. And they are singing. Singing the school's song completely out of tune with some paraphrasing involved.



"Excuse me, Ms. Pheonix," The real McGonagall appears through the double doors, her mouth dropping open with exasperation at the spectacle before her. "James Potter, Freddie Weasley, and Jeremiah Finnegan, my OFFICE NOW!" Pulling her wand from her robes, she turns her look alike into dust, causing it to fall in a cloud to the ground. The three boys let out WHOOPs of pleasure as they climb down from the table.



"Headmistress! We've been awaiting your return!"



"Did you like how we portrayed you?"



"I thought the fireworks were a nice touch."



The fact that none of them seemed to be taking the situation seriously made Nautica want to punch them. And generally, she's not one for violence outside of the Quidditch pitch. She steps aside, watching with narrowed eyes as they follow the Headmistress from the Great Hall. As James Potter passes, he even has the audacity to wink at her.



"Why that little-"



"Come on, Nautica," Santiago takes her hand, pulling her toward the Ravenclaw table, where a majority of them are alredy sitting. "So what was that about?" His dark eyes peer at her with concern, having been watching her for the last week like a hawk.



"I caught them with that stupid statue last night," She says, yanking a piece of buttered toast from a platter. "I took away points, but before I could take them to McGonagall, they poured like fog or something out in the room and disappeared. When I tried to go to her office, I kept getting lost. Stupid bloody James Potter." Her last sentence was quite loud, causing a few fifth years to glare at her over her shoulders. "Oh, like he's a bloody saint!" She snaps, forgetting for a second that she is a Prefect and Prefects don't act like this.



"Calm down," Santiago pats her hand encouragingly, his brows raised. "I think a few laps around the Quidditch pitch would do you wanders." Tensing at his words, she takes a bite of her food, ignoring the nauseous feeling beginning in the pit of her stomach. Riding a broom was strictly prohibited by Healer Ressin.



"You know, I think I'll be fine," She says, taking a deep breath. "It's only a prank." Suddenly appearing suspicious, Santiago reaches for waffles and bacon. "How do you think you did on the Potions essay?" Her question seems to do the trick. He begins telling her about how he had a hard time looking up the uses for lavender.



"Which is crazy considering how it's such a common thing," He finishes his story, looking at her earnestly. Realizing that she hadn't been listening for the last several minutes, she nods hurriedly, not wanting him to know her mind was elsewhere. This evening, after classes were finished, she would have to go to the Hospital Wing to take the second dose of her potion. So far, her only symptoms were fatigue and nausea; her biggest concern being hair loss.



She had originally been scheduled for Prefect rounds tonight, but had managed to switch with Peter Anthony. Thankfully, though Madam Pomfrey probably would've made her stay in a bed if she thought she'd be overexerting herself.



"There's practice tonight," Santiago says after a moment of silence. She smiles at him, trying not to think too deeply into his words. Tonight would be the first practice the team would have without her there. "Do you want to come down and watch?"



"No, I have studying," She says, standing up slowly. "I'm going to head to Arithmancy. See you in Potions later." Waving good-bye to her oldest and dearest friend, she shoulders her satchel and heads for the fourth floor.



It's as she steps onto the landing of the third that a heavy arm swings around her shoulders, catching her off guard. Nautica stumbles, glancing upward to see Freddie Weasley smiling at her with a twinkle in his eyes. "What do you want?" Her tone is short as she keeps walking, shrugging his arm off of her.



"I just wanted to ask if you liked the display this morning."



"No," She says harshly, ignoring the downcast look on his face. "Weasley, why are you talking to me?" She sighs, as the ridiculously goodlooking boy follows her all the way up to Arithmancy.



"Because," he says with a grin, returning to his normally exubrant self. "You know Pheonix, we've been at this school together for seven years, and I don't think we've ever actually had a conversation. Unless, you count you yelling, 'WEASLEY', all the time."



"I would count that," She says, smiling despite herself. "Now, I'm going into class. Go to yours and stay out of trouble."



"Oh, why? Do you care about my wellbeing?" He clasps his hands together mockingly, fluttering his eyelashes at her as she shooes him away. He does so with a wink, leaving her standing in the doorway of her class.



"Coming or going, Ms. Pheonix?" Professor Nobert's dull voice calls out. Hurriedly, Nautica sits in the back of the class, her mind wandering as he begins the lecture. Why on Earth was Freddie Weasley talking to her all of a sudden? Maybe, she was going to be the victim of their next prank. It wouldn't surprise her. She would have to keep her guard up, she thinks warily.





Second chapter done. Hope you enjoyed. A little James/Nautica action. Please leave a review and tell me your thoughts:) I would appreciate it very much.

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